Circular Arguments

Simon, Irene’s name for yesterday’s premature calf, is still hanging in there – John promises us regular updates.

Danii, Tom and Dave spent this morning finishing off the test pit at site E, the rock-shelter just off the track up to Higher Fencewood farm. There are five successive layers of scree build up here but, despite careful sieving, there doesn’t appear to be any evidence of any prehistoric activity. SIte E is now backfilled and recorded, leaving us to concentrate on the two trenches on the enclosure for the rest of this season.

On site D we have got a lot further on with digging the features we exposed yesterday. The edges of the feature are now quite clear. In this photo we are looking south and possible packing stones are also becoming visible in the fill. All of this tends to support what I wrote yesterday and I’m becoming more and more convinced that this feature is a timber circle at the centre of our enclosure. Timber circles are usually Early Bronze Age in date ( there’s a very useful summary in the book by Alex Gibson on the reading list) and Irene and Ella found a thumbnail scraper (a diagnostically Early Bronze Age stone tool type) in the fill of this feature this afternoon. The very first timber circle to be identified in Britain is only a few miles further west around the edge of the Forest of Bowland fells at Bleasdale.

The enclosure ditch itself is still being excavated. We have just started to mattock out the next layer of fill and hopefully we will get onto removing some of the primary ditch silts at some time tomorrow. This will give us a much clearer idea of the form and date of the whole monument.



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